This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Based on materials from Rev. Gerald Rowlands and Aglow Bible studies Further edited and revised by Rev. R.H.F. Uppelschoten
Date: _____________________________________ Name: _____________________________________
Table of Contents
1. WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?...........................................................................3 2. THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT PREDICTED...........................................8 3. THE INITIAL EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT................................................13 4. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE BELIEVER.........................................................19 5. WHY SPEAK IN TONGUES?.........................................................................27 6. THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT..........................................................................34 7. THE GIFT OF PROPHECY............................................................................39 8. THE GIFTS OF REVELATION........................................................................43 9. FAITH........................................................................................... ............53 10. GIFTS OF HEALING AND WORKING OF MIRACLES.......................................58 SOURCES AND REFERENCES...........................................................................65
1. Who is the Holy Spirit?
Introduction: The Holy Spirit is probably the least unknown member of the Godhead (Trinity). In many places where people have at least heard the name of Jesus, they know little or nothing at all about the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately even within the church, there is lack of knowledge about Him Before we begin to study about the Holy Spirit it would be best to pray and ask Him to give us understanding of the same. Prayer Dear Lord Jesus I thank you for dying in my place in order to wash away my sins. I thank you for your forgiveness and for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which you have promised me. Please open my heart and my mind to understand your word and may your word bear fruit in my life, Amen. Bible study Discussion Question: How important is the Holy Spirit for you, just this moment in your life? One of the reasons many Christians are indifferent to the Holy Spirit is that they think He is just a power, or something like energy or electricity, which can be switched on and off as they wish. One possible reason for this misunderstanding is because of certain names that He is called in the Bible in order to symbolize His ministry. (1) What symbols of the Holy Spirit are referred to in the following Bible verses? Ezekiel 37:9 (the Hebrew word can also be translated with “wind”) ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Luke 3:22 ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________
John 7:38, 39
Psalms 133:1, 3
These are all SYMBOLS of the various ministries the Holy Spirit performs, BUT He is greater than any or all of His ministries.
Discussion Questions: Why do you think these symbols are used for the Holy Spirit? How can this help you to understand His works?
In New Testament, the Holy Spirit is described by PERSONAL PRONOUN, which we use for a person.
(2) Write the sentence or the phrase, which describes the Holy Spirit in the following verses and circle the personal pronouns used for Him.
John 14:17 John 15:26 John 16:13 John 16:14
The following scripture ascribe many different feelings or emotions to the Holy Spirit.
(3) In Ephesians 4:30, what are we exhorted not to do?
Read Acts 5:3, 4
(4) Against whom does Peter say that Ananias and Sapphira’s sin of lying was?
An impersonal power is incapable of feelings. It cannot be lied to or grieved. For example, you cannot grieve electricity nor can you lie to it or tempt it. But a person can have all these emotions.
(5) What are the personality expressions in these following verses: Ephesians 4:30
1 Corinthians 12:11
All these examples are expressions of Personality, which an impersonal power, energy or electricity does not have. The Holy Spirit has the basic Characteristics of PERSONALITY: • • • Intellect Sensitivity Will : the ability to think and reason : the ability to feel things : the capacity of choice and decision
He is indeed a Person!
Discussion Question: Does thinking of the Holy Spirit as a Person change your thinking about Him? If so, in what way?
Now that we have established the Holy Spirit’s personality, let us see what else we can learn about Him.
(6) In Matthew 28:19, in whose name are we to baptize?
(7) In 2 Corinthians 13:14, what does Paul pray for the Corinthians?
Discussion Question: What is the communion or fellowship of the Holy Spirit and what are its effects?
(8) Write the Characteristics of the Holy Spirit in the following Bible verses: Hebrews 9:14 Psalm 139:7-10 Luke 1:35 1 Corinthians 2:10-11
Through out the Scripture the Holy Spirit is associated with the Father and the Son on equal status, and He is shown to have the characteristics that God alone has. If we were to use theological terms we would say that the Holy Spirit is eternal, Omnipotent (allpowerful), Omniscient (All-knowing), Omnipresent (present everywhere).
(9) In Acts 5:3, 4, after telling Ananias he has lied to the Holy Spirit, what does Peter tell him? You have not lied to men, but ….
This idea is essential to our understanding of the Holy Spirit. Peter is in fact saying that the HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD.
Here we can see one of the great truths of the Christian doctrine. As the third member of the Godhead (Trinity), the Holy Spirit is not only co-equal with God the Father and God the Son, but He is God. Therefore He must be equally reverenced, respected and honoured. And we should get to know Him as much as we do the other members of the Divine Trinity.
Personal Application (1) Have you been thinking of the Holy Spirit as more of a power or force than a Person? If so, let your understanding be expanded. (2) Have you honoured Him as a co-equal member of the Trinity or Godhead? (3) During this coming week make an effort to begin seeing the Holy Spirit both as a Person and as God? If you haven’t done so in the past, begin speaking to Him, sharing your heart and your needs with Him.
Memory Work “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him, neither knows Him; but you know him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16, 17)
2. The fullness of the Holy Spirit predicted
As New Testament Christians, our relationship with the Holy Spirit is radically different from that of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon or filled certain key people and anointed them for special works.
Before we begin to study let us now pray that the Lord will that the Lord will open our hearts and mind and give us the understanding of the same: Prayer Father we thank you for your Word of Life, and pray that you will open our hearts and mind to understand and to receive your teachings with open hearts. May your Word bear fruits in our lives. In Jesus wonderful name, Amen.
Bible Study To begin this lesson, let us look at some the prophecies of the Old Testament (O.T): Read Joel 2:28, 29 The Prophet Joel whose name means: “Yahweh is God.” He is believed to have lived during the days of King Joash before the exile. One of his main themes was the Day of the Lord, a time when God would specially intervene in the affairs of human history. (1) Upon whom did Joel say God’s Spirit would be poured out?
(2) Name some of the results that would follow the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
In this prophecy God was foretelling the advent of a new spiritual age. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the differences between believers would be erased: (1) Sexual- both sons and daughters- men and women would receive the gift of prophecy; (2) Age- both the old and the young would be involved with dreams and visions; (3) Social status- the Holy Spirit would be poured out on the servants of the house as well as their masters; (4) Religious distinctions- the out pouring of the Holy Spirit was not to be reserved only for the priests or religious figures. But on all those who believe on the name of Jesus and become children of God.
Discussion Question: Do you know people who are experiencing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit according Joel’s prophecy?
Read Ezekiel 36:27
Ezekiel’s ministry was to the exiles in Babylon. While he repeatedly reminded them of the sins which had resulted in their exile, he was also used by God to comfort them with His prophecies of a better future.
(3) Of what did he foretell?
(4) What would the Spirit of God who will dwell in His people cause to happen? Throughout most of Israel and Judah’s history, the Jews looked forward to the coming of their promised Messiah (the anointed One).
Read Isaiah 42:1 (5) What would be the Special quality of Messiah?
Read Isaiah 61:1-3 (6) What is the effect of the Holy Spirit’s presence upon Messiah’s ministry?
Read Luke 4:18-21 After His temptations in the wilderness, Jesus returned to His hometown, Nazareth where He read that part of Isaiah in the Synagogue.
(7) What did Jesus said after reading this passage?
By saying this, Jesus was declaring that He was the Messiah for whom they had been waiting, upon whom God’s Spirit rested.
Read Isaiah 44:3 (8) What more promise is given regarding the out pouring of the Holy Spirit in this verse?
In this promised future outpouring of the Holy Spirit, all of God’s people were to receive this blessing.
(9) Read the following verses and write the expression associated with receiving this experience:
The word, receive, is the term most commonly used in the New Testament to describe the acquiring of this experience.
Read Acts 10:38. (10) What particular phrase is used here to describe the Spirit upon Jesus?
Anointing is a term that many of us are familiar because of its use in the Old Testament. So the power of the Spirit is poured upon the believers.
Read Acts 2:4 (11) How does the verse describe this experience?
This phrase describes the effect, which the Spirit has within believers. They are filled with the Holy Spirit. (12) Read Ephesians 5:18 What are Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians here?
This scripture is more correctly written as, “Be being filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Greek tense indicates a continuing action. The condition of being filled with the Holy Spirit is an ongoing one. In order to maintain the fullness of the Spirit, we need to drink daily from the Source of supply.
Read: Matthew 3:11
(13) What phrase is used in each of them concerning the Holy Spirit?
To baptize means to completely immerse or to submerge into. It has an even deeper meaning, which is to submerge into an element of this is the dyeing of a garment, which is submerged into an element which radically transforms the garment. To be baptized in the Spirit, therefore, is to be immersed, submerged, buried, completely surrounded by, enveloped wholly by the Holy Spirit.
Read John 7:38, 39 (14) What does Jesus say to the crowd in this verse?
The other term, the release of the Holy Spirit, describes the release of the human spirit, which takes place when it is made alive by The Holy Spirit. It is the release of our personality from bondage into liberty, from dryness into rivers of living water, from barrenness into fruitfulness. It surely describes what Jesus was speaking about in the above verse. Hence it is used much with the Charismatic Renewal.
Personal Application (1) Have you personally received the baptism on the Holy Spirit? If not, are you open to the idea of receiving it? (2) If you have already received this experience, are you being filled with the Spirit on daily basis? (3) Have you experienced a true feeling of release in your spirit?
Memory Work He who believes in Me, as the scripture said, ”From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” By this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believe in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because He was not yet glorified” (John 7:38, 39) ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________
3. The Initial Evidence of the Holy Spirit
Discussion Question: Are you aware about a new relation you have with the Holy Spirit?
Introduction How do we know whether or not we’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit? What is the initial evidence (the first sign) that one has received the fullness of the Spirit? To find the answer to these questions, we need to bear three things in mind.
1- We are concerned with the initial sign. While we agree that there are subsequently many other signs and evidences of the Spirit’s fullness, what we are looking for ids that evidence most likely to be the First sign that one has experienced this new dimension of the Spirit’s power. 2- We are seeking for the scriptural sign. Therefore, we are not concerned with personal experience or human tradition, but rather with what the Word of God reveals as the basic common denominator of those who experienced this baptism in the Spirit in the Early Church. 3- It is the Biblical experience of the baptism in the Spirit, rather than man’s idea of what the baptism is.
Prayer Father I thank you for sending the Holy Spirit, the Comforter to me. Please give me Your understanding of what you want me to teach according to Your Word. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.
Read Acts 1:14, 15 (1) About how many people continually gathered for prayer?
Luke 24:44-49 (2) Why were they there?
As we all know waiting is one of the hardest things we Christians are asked to do. Yet these disciples had been obedient to the Lord and were waiting.
Discussion Question: Can you share about a time God has told you to wait, and the results?
Read Acts 2 (3) On what day did this experience take place?
Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish feast, the Festival of Weeks. It occurred on the fiftieth day after Jesus resurrection.
(4) What happened on that day?
This is the fullest account on Pentecost we have in the Bible. On this Pentecost, the promises of God concerning the Holy Spirit were fulfilled as the disciples were praying together with one mind and with one accord while waiting in Jerusalem. As the prophets had already prophesized about it, this was the Beginning of an entirely new work of the Holy Spirit.
There were several evidences that the Holy Spirit had come to these early disciples: • • • a mighty, rushing wind from heaven flames of fire speaking in other tongues
In both Hebrew and Greek languages, the word for SPIRIT also means WIND. So it was important that there should be a mighty rushing wind as herald of the Spirit’s arrival. Wind speaks of life, power, movement, force, all typical of the Holy Spirit.
The symbolic fire was also extremely significant, John the Baptist had already told that Jesus would baptize with THE HOLY SPIRIT and FIRE. Fire symbolizes purging, purifying, cleansing, burning up the chaff and dross. The wind and the tongues of fire occurred BEFORE the disciples were said to be FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, so they cannot truly be said to be evidences of the infilling of the Spirit. The evidence or the sign, which came so obviously after the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit was that they BEGAN TO SPEAK IN OTHER TONGUES AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM THE UTERANCE.
We are clearly told that every one there was dilled with the Holy Spirit and that ALL began to speak with tongues. The clear sign of every disciple on this occasion was the supernatural ability to speak in languages they had never learned. Of the three manifestations that occurred that day, only one was later seen to be a consistently occurring factor accompanying the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was SPEAKING IN OTHER TONGUES.
Read Acts 10 (5) Who was Cornelius?
(6) How is he described?
(7) Describe his vision?
(8) What did he do?
(9) What was Peter doing?
(10) When did Peter understand his vision?
(11) What happened while Peter was preaching?
(12) What was unusual about that?
Until his vision, Peter had believed tat the blessing of God were for the Jews alone. But, when he heard these men speaking in tongues and magnifying God, he became totally convinced that God wants to make Himself known to the Gentiles as well.
Discussion Question: Can you share about a time God has changed your own ideas about HIM?
(13) What did Peter say?
(14) In Acts. 11:1-18, what happened when Peter came to Jerusalem?
(16) What happened after he had made his explanation?
Peter’s argument that God had blessed the Gentiles with the gift of the Spirit in exactly the same way that He had blessed the Jewish believers on the Day of Pentecost and that they had also spoken in tongues was enough to convince the believers from Jewish background. Read Acts 19:1-7 (17) Where did this account take place?
(18) What question did Paul ask?
(19) What was their answer?
(20) What happened when Paul baptized these people in water and laid hands upon them?
We have seen three instances that the baptism in the Spirit is a definite, concise, instantaneous happening. In each of these occasions the one factor, which is consistent is all the recipients on the occasions, were said to speak in tongues as a direct result of having been filled with the Spirit. We, therefore, suggest that speaking in tongues is a genuine and reliable initial sign of receiving the Baptism of Holy Spirit. There are two other accounts in Acts of believers receiving the Spirit.
Read Acts 8 (21) To where did Philip travel during the persecution?
(22) What was the people’s attitude to Philip’s preaching?
(23) What was their response to the signs Philip performed?
(24) What was the result (verse 12)?
(25) What happened when Peter and John laid hands on them?
We through this passage understand that Simon, the magician, saw something happen as a direct result of their receiving the Spirit. Whatever it was, it occurred suddenly, dramatically and in a visible way. Simon desired the ability to make this phenomenon happen. Is it not feasible to assume that he saw the same sign that had occurred on the other occasions?
Read Acts 9:1-19 (26) What did Ananias minister to Paul (verse 17)?
In this passage which is the story of Saul’s (Paul) conversion, he receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and we know that later it was common for him to speak in tongues.
Read 1 Corinthians 14:18 (27) Although Paul was writing to the Corinthians to correct a misuse of tongue’s speaking, what does he say?
(28) What else does he say concerning tongues?
Based on the Biblical experience, we humbly affirm that speaking in tongues are the first scriptural evidence (sign) of the baptism in the Spirit. We also affirm that there are many other scriptural evidences, which should follow this with out which the experience is incomplete.
Personal Application (1) Am I willing to accept speaking in tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Spirit for today as well as in the Early Church? (2) Am I willing to put behind me any misgivings I have about the Biblical basis of speaking in tongues? (3) Am I willing to ask God for this experience?
Memory work “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared upon them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)
4. The Holy Spirit and the Believer
Introduction Before He died, Jesus told His sorrowing disciples that it was to their advantage that He goes away because when He did, He would send the Holy Spirit. As long as Jesus was on earth, He was limited by what He could do physically in a certain time period. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is limited only by the human will.
The first goal of the Spirit in our life is to produce salvation. Once we are saved, He turns His efforts toward giving us power for holy living and service.
Prayer “Father I thank you for sending the Holy Spirit. Please help me to understand the importance of the Holy Spirit’s work in me. I want to learn and practice all that you have to teach me. In Jesus name, Amen”.
In John 16:8-11 (1) What did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would do when He came?
(2) Why for sin?
(3) Why righteousness?
(4) Why for judgment?
An important aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work is to convict, reprove and convince the unconverted people about sin, righteousness and judgment. Without the Spirit’s work we would not know our sinful and lost condition. The Holy Spirit makes us aware of the sinfulness of sin, how far we come short of God’s standard of righteousness, and of the awful judgment, which awaits every sinner.
Discussion Question: Share a time when you were very much aware of the Spirit’s conviction or reproval.
The Holy Spirit also brings conversion and regeneration.
Read Titus 3:4-6 (5) Why did God save according to this verse?
(6) What was it not on account of?
(7) How did He save us?
(8) How was the Holy Spirit?
Read Ephesians 2:1 (9) What does God, through His Holy Spirit, do?
Before we know Jesus, we are spiritually dead. When we accept Him, we also receive the Holy Spirit, who gives life to our dead spirits. The day of Pentecost marked the beginning of the age of the Holy Spirit. Now God would perform His work among men through the Holy Spirit.
Read John 3:5, 6 (10) During His earthly ministry Jesus repeatedly announced the ushering in of the kingdom of heaven. What is the essential requirement of this kingdom?
Read Romans 8:2 (11) What does Paul say the law f the Spirit of life in Jesus has done for him?
Read Romans 8:16 and 1 John 5:6 (12) How does the Spirit give assurance of our salvation? Think how precious God is. Not only does He make us His children when we become saved, but He gives the additional assurance of the witness of His Holy Spirit.
Discussion Question: Can you share a time when the Holy Spirit has given you needed assurance about your salvation?
Read John 16:13 (13) What is another aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry? (14) How does He do this?
Read John 14:16, 17, 26 (15) What does Jesus call the Holy Spirit here?
Discussion Question: ANOTHER Comforter implies that there had been a first comforter or helper, as the word frequently translated. Who was the first Comforter?
When Jesus spoke of the coming of the Holy Spirit, He was preparing His disciples for His departure. They, of course, were appalled at the thought that He was going to leave them.
(16) What reassurance about the Comforter did He give them?
Jesus told His disciples that, although He must leave them physically, the Father was going to send someone else to take his place, Someone who would never leave them.
(17) What else would He do?
Read Romans 8:11 (18) Give another aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work.
The word mortal means bound to die and refers to our physical bodies. The word “quicken” means to impart life. Therefore, the promise of this scripture is that the Holy Spirit, when He dwells within us, will impart life, strength, health and vigour to our bodies. Living in the Spirit is a health-promoting exercise. It will increase our physical strength and our life span.
Read Acts1: 8 (19) In telling the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit, what did Jesus say would happen? (20) What would this power enable them to do?
Jesus used the word Dunamis fro, which we derive our word Dynamo, a machine which selfgenerates a consistent and continuing supply of power. Thus the power of the Spirit within us generates power to enable is to witness of Christ. Not only are we enable to bear witness of Jesus; we actually become witness to Him.
Another very important aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is His empowering of our prayers.
Read Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20 (21) What are we commanded to do in these verses?
Discussion Question: What do you think praying in the Spirit means?
Read Romans 8:26, 27 (22) Why do we need the Holy Spirit’s help when we pray? (23) How does He intercede for us?
Sometimes when we pray in the Spirit, words are no longer adequate and we find ourselves actually groaning in prayer. This is the Holy Spirit praying through us “with groans that words cannot express.”
(24) What is the advantage of having the Holy Spirit intercede for us?
When we pray, we cannot always be sure that we are praying in the will of God, but, when we pray in the Spirit, we pray the perfect prayer because the Holy Sprit has the mind of God.
Another way the Holy Spirit helps is in our WORSHIP.
Read Acts 2:1-11 (25) When the people gathered in Jerusalem heard the disciples speaking in other tongues, what amazed them most?
(26) What were the disciples saying?
Read Acts10: 44-46 (27) What were the men speaking in tongues doing?
The Holy Spirit inspires a continual praise and worship of God in us once we have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Many times when we are prying in our tongues or singing, we will have a sense of worship and glorifying God.
Read John 4:24 (28) What two ways must we worship God?
How do we worship God in the Spirit? Men have often discussed this question. But by the giving of the Holy Spirit, we can now worship God in our spirits, which are joined to the Holy Spirit.
Read Philippians 3:3 (29) Who does Paul say are of the TRUE circumcision (God’s inheritors)?
Read Galatians 5: 22, 23 (30) What are the fruit of the Spirit?
The fruit of the Spirit cannot be produced by the natural man. No matter how refined or educated a person may be, God’s character is only seen in him when God the Holy Spirit lives in him.
(1) Are there things I’m doing that I know hinder the work of the Holy Spirit?
(2) Am I truly wiling to cooperate with Him and the work He is doing in me?
Receiving the Holy Spirit
If your answers were YES to these questions, you are now ready to receive the Baptism (fullness) of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says: ”If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” (John 7:37)
Are you thirsty for the water of the Holy Spirit? If you are then you may come and drink. It is as simple as that.
It is the Lord’s wish that you may receive this wonderful blessing as a gift from Him. You cannot nor do you have to earn it, for if you did, it would no longer be a GIFT of the Holy Spirit.
1. Relax. First you must RELAX physically and this will help you to relax spiritually and emotionally. Sit back and relax. You are in GOOD hands- the hands of Jesus. He is your Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
2. Receive. Secondly, it would be good right now for you to ask Jesus to baptize you in the Spirit. Ask simply, quietly and in faith. Do not begin to beg or plead. Yu don’t have to shout or moan. Jesus is right with you. He can hear your prayer. When you have done so then, you must believe that He has answered your prayer and RECEIVE the Spirit by faith.
Remember to do it in faith. “What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)
This is not an emotional experience. It is a miracle. A supernatural ability given by the Spirit. Yet it does not mean that it is difficult to do. It simply means you co-operate with God. The miracle is in the language that we are given to speak. And it occurs when the Holy Spirit gives you words to speak in a language you have never learnt or possibly even hears before.
Once you begin to speak, keep it up. Do not stop. Let it keep flowing. The more it flows, the freer you will become.
May the Lord bless you as you seek Him and His will with diligence.
Memory work “” (Romans 8:16)
“” (Romans 8:26)
5. Why Speak in Tongues?
In this lesson we are going to find the answer to a question many people have asked: What is the purpose or benefit of speaking in languages which one does not understand?
Prayer “Father I know you give only good gifts. Please help me to understand what you hope to achieve in me when you give me the gifts of tongues. In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen”.
Bible Study People who would put down God’s gift of speaking in tongues frequently use some of Paul’s statements, which were specially directed against the members of the unruly Corinthian church. However, Paul made other statements that show how he felt about this gift.
Read 1 Corinthians 14:5 (1) What does Paul say?
Read 1 Corinthians 14:18 (2) What does Paul say?
Notice Paul’s intimate emphasis, “I thank my God…” Speaking to God in languages of the Spirit increases and strengthens the awareness of one’s personal, intimate relationship and fellowship with God.
Discussion Question: Have you personally experienced this intimate fellowship with God? Share one experience that was particularly meaningful to you.
Read 1 Corinthians 14:2 (3) What does Paul call speaking in tongues here?
Paul thanked God for the privilege of speaking such holy and intimate mysteries.
Read 1 Corinthians 14:14 (4) What does Paul say about our understanding when we pray in tongues?
When Paul says our understanding is unfruitful, he means that our mind is in neutral. Thus we are relaxed, refreshed and edified by this spiritual exercise. What is God purpose in giving us a language we don’t understand? The first reason for speaking in tongues is that it is God’s will for us.
Discussion Question: Do you believe God wants every Christian to speak in tongues? If not, why not?
Read Acts 2:4 This is the scene in Jerusalem when on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples.
(5) What was the physical evidence of their infilling with the Holy Spirit?
Read Acts 10:46 When Peter visited the house of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, and shared the Gospel with the people there, much the same thing happened, amazing Peter’s Jewish companion.
(6) What does Scripture say happened which startled the Jewish converts?
The source of their amazement lay in the fact that till this time, these people had believed that the baptism in the Holy Spirit was for Jewish converts only.
Read Acts 19:6 When Paul was in Ephesus, he came upon a group of believers who knew nothing about the Holy Spirit. (7) When he laid hands upon them, what was the result?
The second reason for speaking in tongues is that it is the scriptural, initial evidence of the fullness for the Spirit.
Read Romans 8:26, 27 (8) What problem does Paul make note of here?
This is one off our human weaknesses. Sometimes when we go to pray, we are conscious that we need help and assistance, but we don’t understand what is really wrong or how to parry about it.
(9) How does the Spirit overcome this inadequacy for us? (10) How is He able to do this?
Because the Holy Spirit is God, He is able to search our heart and discover just where we are and what is amiss.
(11) What does the Holy Spirit know?
Knowing the mind of the Spirit is another way of saying that the Holy Spirit knows God’s will for us.
(12) How does the Spirit pray?
By praying according to the will of God, the Holy Spirit brings us into harmony with that will. He prays out all the complexes, inhibitions, negative thoughts that have hindered us, and He prays us into the positive, powerful, beneficial purpose of God for our life. This kind of praying is one of the most powerful means of “renewing the spirit of our mind.”
The third reason for speaking in tongues is that it is a therapeutic means of cleansing and release.
Praying for others particularly our loved ones can sometimes be difficult for us as well. When we know people have a problem or when God puts someone on our heart to pray for, we don’t always know how to pray for them. Our feelings for them and our lack of knowledge concerning God’s will for them can both be hindrances.
How do we pray for others at times such as these? The answer is in TONGUES.
The fourth reason for praying in tongues is that it enables us to pray perfect prayers either for others or ourselves.
Discussion Question: Can you relate an experience or a time when you did not know to pray for someone and what happened?
Reread 1 Corinthians 14:4 (13) What does this verse say is one of the benefits of praying in tongues?
It is from the word edify that we derive our word edifice or building. Whenever we speak in tongues, though the words may be a mystery to our intellect, we are building ourselves up spiritually.
Our fifth reason for speaking in tongues is that it is a source of personal edification.
Reread 1Corinthians 14:2 (14) Who are we speaking to when we pray in our tongue? (15) Where are we speaking these “mysteries”?
The primary purpose of this spiritual exercise is not that we speak to men, but rather that we may speak to God. Communing with God in this manner, we are freed from the limitations and restrictions of our puny and finite mind. We are not restricted to speaking only of those things, which we have learnt. We are released to speaking also of things, which we are taught intuitively by the Spirit of God. We commune with God about deep things, which remain a mystery to our finite mind.
Our sixth reason for speaking in tongues is that it is a realm of intimate spiritual communion with God.
Read 1 Corinthians14: 17, 18 (16) What does Paul say we do when we speak in tongues?
Discussion Question: Have you ever felt unable to adequately express your thanks and appreciation to God? Share an experience.
God has been so good that mere words seem too weak to express the reservoir of thanks we feel in us. Then here is a fulfilling way to do it. Paul says we can “give thanks well” by speaking to God by the Spirit, in language He gives. This giving of thanks supercedes anything that our human mind can furnish. It goes beyond the realm of poetry and ministry to God in the Spirit.
Our seventh reason for speaking in tongues is that it is an opportunity to “give thanks” acceptably to God.
(17) What does Paul call praying in tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:15 and Jude 20?
The eighth reason for speaking in tongues is that it enables us to pray “in the Spirit.”
This is a prophecy of Isaiah relating to the age in which we live.
(18) How does Isaiah say God will speak to His people? (19) What does God call it?
In this day of extreme stress, man perhaps needs rest more than in any other age. Communing with God in tongues is a most relaxing and refreshing experience. The body and mind can relax completely. We do not have to think what to say next or how to say it. The Spirit flows through us in perfect communion with the Father, and we receive the benefit of that beautiful communion. It is a tonic for spirit, soul and body.
The ninth reason is that it is a source of rtes and refreshing.
Reread Acts 2:11. (20) What amazed the Jews on the Day of Pentecost?
Reread Acts 10:46 (21) Finish this sentence: For they heard them speak with tongues and…
Very often when we speak in tongues, the Spirit is worshipping, praising and exalting God. The Holy Spirit is magnifying the wonderful works of God through us.
Our tenth reason is that it is a ministry of praise and worship to God.
Read Ephesians 5:18 (22) What are we told to do in this verse?
This verse is also translated as: “be…being filled”. It is a grammatical form we do not have in English, which indicates a continuous action.
Our eleventh reason is that speaking in tongues is a scriptural means of maintaining the fullness of the Spirit. Ministering to God in tongues is a valid means of keeping filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we ought to do this everyday and many times each day.
Read 1 Corinthians 14:5 (23) What does speaking in tongues, plus interpretation, do?
Our personal devotional tongue or prayer language is edifying to the one who exercises it. He alone is built up by the use of it. However, if this tongue is interpreted, it may also be a blessing to others. The one who speaks in tongues should also pray that he may interpret in order that believers may receive edification, too.
Read James 1:26 and 3:1-18 (24) To what does James compare our tongue?
James teaches that the tongue is the control centre of a man. When we offer our control centre to the Holy Spirit, He begins to bring our conversation under Christ’s control. Our surrender to the Holy Spirit in the gifts of tongues is a release of the sweet water of life, God’s words. By regular daily use of this gift, we will find strength to resist negative and critical talk.
Read Ephesians 4:29 (25) What does good conversion do?
Speaking in tongues is a means of producing Christ’s mind in us, so that we speak only those things that are useful to build up ourselves and our hearers. Speaking in tongues purifies and renews our mind, which is the source of our conversation and way of life.
Our twelfth reason for speaking in tongues is that it is a key to bringing in the mind of Christ over our own mind.
(26) Summarize the reasons God wants Christians to have the gift of tongues.
Discussion Question: How many of these purposes have you been aware of, as you have prayed? Share some experiences.
Personal Application (1) If you are not currently doing so, are you willing to make praying in the Spirit a regular important part of your prayer life? (2) Praying in tongues is not primarily an emotional experience. Are you willing to be obedient to God in this way regardless of how you feel?
Memory work “What is it, then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15)
6. The gifts of the Spirit
Introduction The great spiritual revival which is occurring in the world at this time has been called the Charismatic Renewal. This phrase has been employed to describe an extremely important aspect of the revival, the restoration to the church of the supernatural manifestations, which were so powerfully obvious in the New Testament Church. These manifestations, or gifts of the Spirit, have been noticeably absent from the church for many centuries.
In the past, more than 50 years, God has been restoring these features, and His restoration program has been accelerated greatly in the past 20 years. The Charismatic Renewal has invaded every part of the Christian Church, bringing new life and power to the Body of Christ. The restoration of these blessings creates a great need for teaching on these important subjects. There are many charismatic gifts mentioned in the Bible. The main references are Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30 and Ephesians 4:11. For the purpose of this study, we will limit ourselves to a consideration of NINE manifestation listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
Prayer “Father, we thank you and praise you for all the love you’ve poured out on us and for all that you have done for us. Thank you for your marvelous gift to us- your Holy Spirit. Please teach us now as we commit this study to you. In Jesus mighty name, Amen”.
Bible Study Reread 1 Corinthians 12:1 (1) How do you know God wants us to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Discussion Question: Why are they called gifts?
(2) What are the spiritual gifts given in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10?
(3) In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, who is the giver of the spiritual gifts?
(4) What are the gifts given for? (5) Who may be used in this ministry?
Read 1 Corinthians 1:7 (6) What is Paul’s concern for this church?
Read Ephesians 5:18 (7) What does Paul tell the members of this church to do?
Reread 1 Corinthian 12:31 and 14:12 (8) What is to be our attitude toward spiritual gifts? (9) What is one reason we should desire them? (10) Paul’s position regarding the gifts of the Spirit is crystal clear. Summarise his teachings in these first nine questions.
To simplify our study of the gifts of the Spirit, we will classify them into three groups:
Gifts of speech: Tongues Interpretation of tongues Prophecy
Gifts of ability: Faith Gifts of healing Working of Miracles
Gifts of revelation: Word of wisdom Word of Knowledge Discernment of Spirit
Discussion Question: Tell about a time when one of the spiritual gifts ministered especially to you.
The Gift of Tongues The Gift of Tongues has two functions:
First, as ‘devotional tongues,” the purpose of which is to EDIFY the PERSON using it.
Second, as the gift of tongues, which, when accompanied by interpretation of the tongues, is for EDIFYING of the whole CHURCH and not merely individuals.
Read 1 Corinthian 13:1 (11) What must always be our motivation in using this gift?
Read 1 Corinthians 14:5, 13, 27 (12) With what should it always be accompanied?
(13) Is there any limitation on its use?
ANY BELIEVER who has ever spoken in tongues is capable of edifying the Body through an utterance in tongues. You should, therefore, be prepared to do so at any time. Seek to be surrendered to the Spirit. Be relaxed in your mind and be open to the Holy Spirit. Develop sensitivity to what the Spirit wants to do or say in any particular service. When God the Holy Spirit wants to bring a tongue utterance through you, there will generally be an inner awareness of this for some time before you actually speak. This is often a gentle stirring in your spirit, a growing excitement and anticipation. This develops into a deep awareness that the Spirit is going to bring and that this utterance is within you.
Read 1 Corinthians 14: 32 (14) Who is in control of the actual utterance?
Discussion Question: If you have ever spoken in tongues at a public meeting, share your first time of ministry.
Many people expect the Holy Spirit to take control over their mouths and do the talking. However, this scripture shows us that the person giving the utterance has control over it. The Holy Spirit gives the inspiration for it. Therefore, if the time is not right for the giving of message in tongues, you do not have to speak out immediately. You can wait quietly for the right moment to speak. The Holy Spirit will prompt you clearly at that time. He will not interrupt what is already happening in the service.
Read 1 Corinthians 14:33 (15) How do we know that the Holy Spirit will not bring confusion to a meeting?
It follows logically then that if there is confusion brought into a meeting, it comes from another source, rather God.
Discussion question: Discuss any confusion you have seen at meetings and who or what you believe was responsible for it.
If you feel the Spirit has a message in tongues for you to give, remain calm and relaxed, and when He let you know the tie is right, speak in a normal but clearly audible voice. When the utterance is complete, all wait upon God for the interpretation. Often some other believer will be even the interpretation.
Read 1 Corinthians 14:13, 16 (16) What do you do if no one else has the interpretation?
The interpretation of Tongues
The Interpretation of tongues is the companion gift to that of tongues. It is the supernatural enablement by the Holy Spirit to interpret an utterance in tongues into the natural language of the congregation. It is NOT the gift of translation. By this gift of the Holy Spirit, the believer concerned is able to render the utterance intelligible to the congregation, so they may receive it and be edified by it.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:11 (18) Who may interpret?
Any Spirit-filled believer may be chosen and anointed by the Holy Spirit to manifest this gift. Here again, we must seek to develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. While you are worshipping God in a gathering of believers, keep your mind and spirit open to the Holy Spirit. Frequently, you will sense beforehand that there is going to be an utterance in tongues and that God is giving you the interpretation for it.
When that utterance comes, wait quietly until it is concluded. Initially, when you first begin to speak, you may only have the first sentence of the interpretation and a brief idea of what is to follow. Like all other gifts of the Holy Spirit, this one operated by faith, too. As you commence to give forth what the Spirit is giving you, seek in a normal, clear, audible voice.
Avoid letting any personal thoughts, feelings, or ideas creep into the interpretation. Let your own thoughts be in neutral, and our mind be a clear channel for the Holy Spirit to flow through.
When the interpretation is completed and you sense that the Spirit has finished all He wishes to say, then stop! Having delivered the interpretation, keep quiet while it is judged by those who sit by. If there are any believers present who are regularly used in the vocal gifts, they should judge whether the word are truly from God. The standard b which amne may judge is similar to that which we used for judging prophecy, which is next manifestation we consider.
Discussion Question: If you have ever been given the gift of interpretation, following an utterance in tongues, share your experience with others.
(1) Are you willing to let the Holy Spirit use you in public ministry by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit? (2) Are you willing to abide by Paul’s guidelines and have interpretation given by you be judged by the mature believers in your church?
Memory Work “ Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God, which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
7. The Gift of Prophecy
Introduction This week we are going to study the third vocal gift of the Spirit –prophecy. The gift of prophecy conveys the mind of the Lord to the church. The prophet speaks on behalf of God to believers. Simply translated the word PROPHECY means “to utter inspired words. The purpose of prophecy is threefold: • • • To edify the church, build up and strengthen the believers. To exhort them, stir them up, confront and challenge them. To comfort and speak encouragingly.
Oftentimes a prophecy may include all three of these elements.
Prayer “Father I know that spiritual matters can not be understood by the natural mind, so by your Holy Spirit, help me to understand theses teachings of the Holy Spirit. I thank you for answering my prayer. In Jesus name, Amen”.
Bible Study Read 1 Corinthians 14:29-33 (1) Who may prophesy?
(2) How many may prophecy at a meeting?
(3) What should the others do?
(4) Explain this scripture: “the spirit of the prophets are subject to prophets.”
As we said before concerning speaking in tongues, the person speaking, though inspired by the Holy Spirit, is doing the actual speaking. God will not force him to speak.
Three misunderstandings about prophecies • Prophecy should not be confused with preaching. Many today insist that the gift of prophecy is the ability to preach well. However, preaching and teaching are usually the result of prayerful meditation in the Word of God and careful preparation of one’s mind and spirit in order to minister understanding to the people. The gift of prophecy is not the result of careful study. It is a spontaneous speaking forth by the Spirit of God.
The gift of prophecy is not for foretelling the future. This is for forth telling rather than foretelling. Its purpose is for edification, exhortation and comfort and not for seeking to predict future events. Whenever there is an element of prediction within a prophecy, it is usually there because there is another gift (e.g. the word of knowledge or wisdom) working along with it.
This gift is not for personal guidance. If we are in need of personal guidance, we should ask Jesus Himself for it (James 1:5). If a prophetic utterance comes to us with instructions for the future, it should only be to confirm what God has already shown us personally.
Scriptural teachings about prophecy Let us see now what the Bible teaches us specifically about this wonderful gift God bestowed upon us. Read 1 Corinthians 14:3. (5) How does this verse describe the gift of prophecy?
(6) Using a dictionary, write out definitions of these three words: Edification Exhortation Comfort
Discussion Question: Can you share a time when you have been edified, exhorted or consoled through someone using the gift of prophecy? What was your response?
Read 1 Corinthians 14:24, 25 (7) What effect can prophecy have on the unbeliever?
Read 1 Corinthians 14:31 (8) What effect can prophecy have on the believer?
This does not refer to the teaching, which normally comes from the exposition of the Word of God through the ministry of a teacher. Rather, it is the learning of spiritual truths through the anointing of the Spirit. Such teachings should be tested by the written Word of God before being digested. Read 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39 (9) What should be our attitude toward receiving the gift of prophecy?
By the gift of prophecy we may be used of God for the encouragement of His people. We have already learned that the person operating the gift is responsible for its use of abuse. Prophecy is not an uncontrolled utterance nor is the prophet under any kind of mind control. Neither is he doing anything against his will. The spirit of prophecy is subject to the prophet. It is the prophet who is speaking, on behalf of God, and the prophet has control all the times of that he or she is saying.
Characteristics of a genuine, Spirit-inspired prophecy
All prophecies should be judged. Here are some guidelines by which it can be judged.
It will never contradict the written Word of God. Therefore, every prophetic utterance should be tested by the Word of God. God would never tell by prophesy to do anything, which His Word forbids. It will always exalt Jesus Christ, and never dishonour Him. It will edify, exhort and comfort the believers. It should never leave them confused, distressed or uncertain. It should “witness” with the majority of the believers present (specially the more mature ones who are themselves frequently used in operation of vocal gifts). It will not break the spirit of the meeting, although it may change the course of it.
• • • •
Read Matthew 7:16 (10) How did Jesus say we could know false prophets?
We should reject any so-called prophecy coming from one whose life and practice are a reproach to the cause of Christ. Ultimately, the final test of any predictive aspect of the prophecy is whether or not it comes true.
Here are some guidelines for prophecies. • • • • • • • Be relaxed. Don’t be under a strain or pressure. Quietly wait upon the Lord in your spirit. Keep your mind open to His voice. When you feel the prompting of the Spirit within your spirit, commit your self to God afresh as a channel for Him to flow through. Remember that the gift operated by faith. Begin to speak out whatever God gives you. Keep it simple. While you are speaking, be waiting upon the Lord quietly for the remainder of the message. Discern when the Spirit has finished speaking and stop.
Romans 12:6 (11) What are the limitations of our ability to prophesy?
Personal Application (1) Do I honestly desire God’s spiritual gifts? (2) Am I willing to use them for the edification of the whole church? If not, am I willing to be made willing?
Memory Work “ But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged by all: and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” (1 Corinthians 14:24, 25) “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” (1 Corinthians 14:31)
8. The gifts of Revelation
Introduction We are now ready to take a look at the three revelation gifts. These are a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom and the discerning of spirits.
Prayer “Oh, God we need YOUR knowledge, YOUR wisdom, and YOUR discernment. Teach us everything you want us to know about these three precious gifts. In Jesus wonderful name, Amen”.
A word of knowledge A word of knowledge is a fragment or small portion of God’s knowledge containing certain facts and information through the supernatural revelation of the Holy Spirit. Supernaturally imparted, this information was previously unknown to the person and the knowledge could not have been gained by any natural means.
We see Jesus using the word of knowledge in His ministry. Read John 1:47-50 1) These verses record Jesus’ first meeting with Nathaniel, who later became one of the twelve disciples. What did Jesus say to him?
(2) How do we know that Jesus had not previously met Nathaniel?
(3) What was Jesus’’ response?
The fig tree that grew in that area has extremely large leaves, not only covering the tree but the surrounding ground as well. Someone sitting under such tree would be completely hidden from sight. Nathaniel knew that there was no way in the natural that Jesus could have seen him under the tree. (4) What was Nathaniel’s startled response?
Read John 4:18-20. This is the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. (5) What things did Jesus tell her about herself?
Read John 4:28-30. (6) What did she say about Jesus to the villagers?
Jesus knew many facts about the woman of Samaria although He had never previously seen her. She was amazed by the accuracy of His knowledge concerning her past and present life. The exercise of the word of knowledge eventually brought about a real revival in Samaria.
Read Acts 9:10-16. (7) What did the Lord reveal about Paul to Ananias?
Looking back to the Old Testament, we see certain people being given the word of knowledge.
Read 2 Samuel 12:1-14. (8) What did Nathan supernaturally know about David?
Discussion Question: Can you think of other instances in the Bible where someone was given or used the word of Knowledge?
Personal Question: Can you remember a time when (even if you did not recognize it for what it was) you were given a word of knowledge about someone?
Distinctions • • • • A word of knowledge is instinct from human knowledge gained by natural means. It word of knowledge is distinct from human knowledge about someone? It cannot be gained by intellectual learning, by studying books or pursuing an academic course in a college or university. It is not the ability to st6udy, understand or interpret the Bible.
Its employment in Scripture Why does God give us the word of Knowledge? Let’s look to Scripture and see how it was used there.
(9) Write out how the word of knowledge was used in each of the following scriptures: Acts 5:1-11
1 Kings 19:9
The operation of this gift • • • • • • • It is supernatural in character –not obtained by logic or deduction, reasoning, etc., nor by the natural senses, but by supernatural revelation through the Holy Spirit. It operates by faith. The person receiving the revelation does so by faith. The revelation is received in one’s spirit –not in the intellect or the emotions. It is not essentially a vocal gift. It is received quietly and inaudibly within the person’s spirit. It may become vocal when shared with others (John 1:47, 4:18). Any Spirit-filled Christian who is willing to listen to God may experience the function of his gift. It is an invaluable asset in the ministry of counseling. Obedient action and response is essential to the continuing function of this manifestation of one’s ministry.
A word of knowledge is frequently manifested in conjunction with the word of wisdom.
A word of wisdom The word of wisdom is a fragment of divine wisdom supernaturally imparted by the Holy Spirit. It supplies one with the immediate wisdom to know what to say or to do in a given situation. This gift stands at the head of the list because it is so important. It enables us to speak and act with divine wisdom and thus ensures the correct use and application of the other gifts. When the word of wisdom is absent, the other gifts can be used incorrectly, causing much confusion. As we have said before, God frequently gives the word of wisdom together with the word of knowledge, so that believers can know how to apply that word of knowledge correctly. Through a word of knowledge, God reveals to Ananias, the whereabouts and conditions of Saul. He also showed him, by the word of wisdom, what he should do in this difficult situation.
Illustration A man gets into legal difficulties and consults his lawyer. The lawyer does not give his client all the wisdom and knowledge he has. He extracts the word, or portion if his knowledge that applies to his client’s needs and imparts that word. Likewise, God, who knows all things, extracts from His infinite store of wisdom, the particular portion of wisdom needed for one of His children. He sends this by the Holy Spirit.
What the word of wisdom is • • • It is supernatural in character. It is given as the Holy Spirit wills (1 Corinthians 12:11) It is given for a specific need or situation.
What the word of wisdom is not • • • • It is not natural wisdom. It is not he wisdom gained from academic achievement. It is not wisdom gained from experience. It is not even the wisdom to understand the Bible.
Biblical example Read Luke 4:1-13 (10) When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, what were His answers to Satan?
How does anyone know how to respond to Satan's temptations? Today, we have Jesus’ example, but he word of wisdom with which Jesus confronted Satan were imparted to Him by the Holy Spirit.
Read Luke 20:22-26. (11) What was the word of wisdom the Holy Spirit gave to Jesus when the scribes tried to trap Him?
(12) What was their response?
Read John 8:3-11 (13) What is the situation?
(14) What is their motive?
(15) How did Jesus handle the situation through the word of wisdom?
(16) What effect did this word wisdom have on the Scribes and Pharisees?
Read Acts 6:1-5 (17) What is the problem in these verses?
(18) What was the word of wisdom given to the apostles for the solution of this problem?
Read Acts 15:19-22 In the early days of the new Church, the problem arose as to whether non-Jewish Christians needed to be circumcised or not. The issue threatened to split the whole church. Finally, the problem came before the council at Jerusalem, and Paul and Barnabas, with others, were sent to represent the case against circumcision. After hearing the arguments James made a statement, filled with wisdom.
(19) What was the word he gave?
Read Acts 27:23, 24 This is the familiar story of Paul’s sea voyage, which ended in shipwreck. Previous to the grounding of the ship, however, all hope had been abandoned, and the crew and passengers of the ship were in desperate circumstances. It was at this point that Paul told them the wisdom he has received from the Lord. (20) What did Paul tell them?
The word of wisdom has been promised to all of Christ’s disciples.
Read Luke 21:14, 15 (21) What is the promise given in these verses?
The word of wisdom is not essentially a vocal gift, but rather, a gift of revelation. It is quietly received within one’s spirit. It comes out when vocalized in counseling, preaching or prophesying or when acted upon.
Discussion Question: Share with your group a time when you received a word of wisdom.
Discerning of spirits The discerning of spirits is a more important subject than we generally realize. If this spiritual gift were used frequently with its counterpart, the casting out of demons, many of the problems we face today would be greatly minimized. The discerning of spirits is the third of the revelation gifts. It is a divine ability imparted by the Holy Spirit to enable us to penetrate the spiritual realm and distinguish between the spirit of Satan (evil spirits), the Spirit of God and the human spirit. By it, we can discern the origin of certain actions, teachings, circumstances, etc., that have been inspired by spiritual beings. This gift is more limited than the other two revelation gifts. The revelation given in this instance is limited to the origin of the behavior in question. Nonetheless, the discerning of spirits is just as supernatural in its operation as are any of the other eight gifts. It supplies the church with information available in no other way.
The function of the gift of discerning spirits The gift of discerning spirits gives one a supernatural understanding of the nature and activity of the spirits. It enables him to distinguish between the divine, satanic and human origin of spiritual activity and reveals the nature of the spirits themselves. It is easy to confuse the words of the sprit of Satan and those of the Spirit of God: Satan always tries to counterfeit the works of the Holy Spirit.
Read John 8:44 (22) What different names did Jesus call Satan?
Read Revelation 12:9 (23) What is Satan called in this verse?
All of those titles signify the subtle, crafty deceptiveness, which Satan uses to bring about evil whenever he can. Many times his counterfeit is so plausible that one will be entirely deceived unless someone present who functions with the supernatural gift of discerning of spirits. If demon activity were always so obviously reeking with evil and wicked intent, as we tend to imagine, there would be no use for this gift of the Spirit.
Read Acts 16:16-18 (24) Why was the slave girl so valuable to her masters?
(25) What did she say about Paul and Silas?
(26) What sis Paul does after several days?
Paul challenged the spirit, which might easily have deceived other servants of God. The girl gave a perfectly true statement when she identified Paul and Silas, but the spirit speaking was an evil spirit.
Discussion Question: Why should an evil spirit advertise the apostles in that fashion?
The operation and need for the gift today
The gift of the discerning of spirits is experiencing its own revival in much of the world today. It can be seen in action in the ministry of many people of God in the present renewal. It is absolutely essential that this gift operates if the Church is going to accomplish her full mission and destroy the works of the devil. This supernatural gift is especially necessary for missionaries and workers in heathen lands where spirits, Satanism and occultism abound.
How the gift of discerning spirits operates The first and most obvious function of this gift is to reveal the presence of evil spirits in the lives of people or churches. However, it also functions to evaluate the source of a prophetic message, a particular teaching, or some supernatural manifestation. The person functioning with this gift will be able to tell whether the source of the message of act is demonic, divine or merely human. If the source is discerned to be demonic, the person functioning in his gift will also usually be able to reveal: • • • The nature of the demon. This is what his work is, whether lying, causing infirmity (such as cancer, blindness, dumbness, etc.), unclean behavior and the like. The name of the demon. This is usually revealed with the nature of the demon, although it isn’t at all uncommon to reveal a demon’s proper name. The number of demons. It is not at all uncommon for a person to be demonized by more than one spirit at a time (e.g. the case of “legion”; and of Mary, out of whom Jesus cast out seven demons). The strength of particular demons. Often during an encounter with an evil spirit, the one who functions with the discerning of spirits will know by revelation which of several demons is strongest and has greatest authority.
Often demons will give much information verbally themselves to one they know has supernaturally discerned their presence and who has power to cast them out. However since demons can be counted on to lie, it is a good idea to treat the information they give with suspicion and count on information supernaturally given by the Holy Spirit. The discerning of spirits doesn’t always involve faith to expel demons. Although this gift is essential for effective deliverance, it is not sufficient by itself. It must work in concert with the gifts of faith and effecting miracles. It is those who function with those gifts that usually have greatest success in casting out demons.
Personal application (1) Am I so committed to God that I am willing to minister in the revelation gifts?
(2) Am I ready to face criticism, even ridicule from other Christians who do not believe in these spiritual gifts?
Memory Work “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself and said to them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” (John 8:7-9)
Introduction We are now ready to look at the first of the three gifts of ability –faith. Since faith deals with the future and the unseen – things not physically experienced –the gift of faith is a special endowment given to someone called upon to exercise an extraordinary capacity of trust. To enable someone to accomplish God’s purpose despite every contrary and contradictory circumstance of life, God supernaturally empties him of any doubts and fills him with special faith. It is a special dispensation God grants a believer when the task He has given the believer requires more than ordinary or general faith.
Prayer “Father I thank you for giving us your Son, Lord Jesus Christ, that through faith in Him we may be saved. We give you all glory, honor, praise and worship due to your name. Please open my mind and heart to understand and receive your word fully. In Jesus name, Amen”.
Read Romans 12:3. (1) What has God allotted to each one of us?
The measure of faith God gives to each Christian is not the GIFT of faith. The gift of faith has a vastly superior function to that of general faith, which grows from the original seed of saving faith, planted by God in our heart.
Read Matthew 6:30, 14:31 and 16:8. (2) What was Jesus’ frequent complaint to His listeners?
Personal Question If Jesus were speaking to you today, what do you think He would say to you about your faith?
Read Matthew 8:10. (3) What was Jesus’ comment to the Roman centurion?
The degree of general faith for any individual believer varies with his stage of development (“little faith,” “great faith”, etc.). General faith grows as a result of feeding on the Word, and is exercised through the circumstances. This suggests further that the gift of faith is not permanently resident in any believer, but rather that EACH MANIFESTATION IS A SEPARATE GIFT OF FAITH. An episode in Elijah’s life illustrates this.
Read 1 Kings 17:1. King Ahab was one of Israel’s most wicked kings, who “did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.”
(4) What did Elijah say by faith?
If we read further in chapter, we find that Elijah’s gift of faith produced the miraculous fulfillment of that prophecy.
Discussion Question: Are you aware of an experience of the gift of faith in your life or in someone else’s? If so, share it with your group.
That Elijah did not always have that kind of faith ids evident by another episode of his life.
Read 1 Kings 19:1-4. (5) What happened when King Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done?
(6) What was Elijah’s reaction to her treat?
(7) What was his plea to the Lord?
In this circumstance, Elijah sat under the juniper tree, fearful, discouraged and wanting to die because the GIFT of faith was not needed at this time. This is not to say that he had lost his faith in God.
Read 1 Kings 19:15-18. (8) What restored his courage?
God wants us to know we can go forth confidently, knowing that when special demands are made upon us, He will supernaturally give us special faith to enable us to fulfill His purposes.
How the gift of faith works The gift of faith often seems to operate in a rather passive manner, as we see in the book of Daniel.
Read Daniel 6:16-23. (9) What are the circumstances of this story?
We all know this familiar story of how Daniel’s enemies reported him t the King, who, though he wanted to save Daniel, was powerless to help his friend.
(10) What happened the nest morning after Daniel had been put in the lion’s den?
(11) How do we know the gift of faith was in operation?
By way of contrast to this example of seemingly passive faith, we have the story of Samson’s slaying the lion?
Read Judges 14:5,6. (12) How did Samson kill the lion?
Samson’s slaying of the lion is an example of man’s active involvement in the manifestation of the power of God. This would be an example of the working of miracle. This impression that the gift of faith functions passively is because it often works with more dramatic gifts (e.g. the working of miracles, the gifts of healing, etc.).
Read 2 Corinthians 4:13. (13) What does this verse say?
This is an instant whereby those words a man of God speaks when inspired are backed by God AS HIS OWN WORD. The results are not always immediate, but they are sure. And this gift can function in many ways (e. g. for blessing, for cursing, for creating, for destroying, etc.).
Discussion Question: Share an experience where you or someone else has spoken a word of faith –and the results.
(14) There are some notable examples of the gift of faith working through the spoken word. In each instance write the particular gift of faith that is described: Joshua 10:12-14
1 Kings 17:1
Discussion Question: Do you believe God is more likely to use some people in the ministry of this gift then others?
The Scriptures also teach the principle of the word of faith. Read Mark 11:12-20. (15) Summarize the incident in these verses.
Read Mark 11:23. (16) What does this verse say about having something?
Read Job 22:28. (17) How is something established?
Personal Application (1) Have I ever asked God to give me the gift of faith?
(2) Am I willing to be used in this ministry?
Memory work “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23). “Thou shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways” (Job 22:28). ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 57
10. Gifts of Healing and Working of Miracles
Introduction The three references to the gifts of healing are in 1 Corinthians 19:9, 28 and 30. In each of these, the original reading is charismata iamaton. Both words are plural, making the correct translation of this phrase, gifts of healing. Gifts of healing operate supernaturally to heal diseases and infirmities without natural means of any sort. It is the power of the Holy Spirit, which comes upon a person’s body, dissolving the disease, and driving out his pains to heal him. The use of the plural nouns here emphasizes the abundance of God’s healing gifts to afflicted mankind. It may also emphasize that Jesus healing will deliver from every sickness, weakness, plague, deformity, and affliction. In addition, it implies that there is a great variety of the manifestations of this gift.
Prayer “Father, thank You for sending us the Holy Spirit. The world today is in such need of YOUR gifts of healings and miracles. Please help me to understand this lesson clearly. In Jesus wonderful name, Amen”.
Gifts of Healings The exercise of gifts of healings does not give the gifted person an ability to heal all sick all the time. Some have misunderstood this and have asked why Christians do not into hospitals and the like and raise up all who are sick. Even Jesus did not do this: He only went to what may correspond to what may correspond to a modern hospital once when He went to the pool of Bethesda where there were multitudes of sick people.
Read John 5:1-9. (1) How ware the people around the pool described?
(2) Why were they there?
(3) How many people did Jesus heal on this occasion?
Even in the fact of this great multitude of sick people, Jesus only selected a single individual to be healed. Many other times, however, we read of great crowds of sick folk who came to Jesus, and we are told He “healed them all”. An important principle of divine healing is that the person must come to Jesus as an exercise of faith and cooperation.
The purpose of gifts of healings (4) We find several different purposes of healing in the Gospels and Acts. Beside each scriptural reference write the purpose given. 1 John 3:8 with Luke 13:16
Matthew 4:23, 25
Mark 2:12; Luke 13:13
The Holy Spirit gives gifts of healings to the servant of God to pass on to whomever He desires to heal for His own purpose. Like all other gifts, the gifts of healings not only have to be given, but also must be received. Just as there is a principle of faith regarding how to minister these gifts, there is also a principle, which deals with how to receive them.
Read 2 Kings 20:1-7 (5) Write a short summary of the situation given here.
Read 2 Kings 20:8-11 (6) What was Hezekiah’s response to his recovery?
(7) What was the sign given?
Even though Hezekiah had really recovered from his illness, he still was not ready to believe (receive) until God gave him a miraculous sign. The Syrian general Newman had this same problem of receiving his healing.
Read 2 Kings 5:1-14 (8) Briefly summarize Newman's story.
Newman's healing was delayed primarily because he had reconvened ideas of how he should be healed.
(9) What did he expect the prophet Elisa to do?
(10) What was his second obstacle?
Discussion Question: Can you think of other people in the Bible who limited God by their reconvened ideas?
Although there are exceptions to this, it is always God’s desire to heal. However, sometimes the normal channels through which God’s healing virtue would flow are not working well. This may require that God send a special gift of healing. Sometimes God communicates gifts of healings through the normal healing channels; at other times, through extraordinary means, according to His will.
Read Acts 5:15 (11) What was the agency of healing in this instance?
Read Acts 19:12 (12) How did God heal in this account?
Discussion Question: Does God still use such extraordinary methods of healing?
Working of Miracles A miracle happens when God intervenes in the ordinary course of the future. The gift of the workings of miracles comes when God endues us with power by the Holy Spirit to do something completely outside the range of human ability. He gives it to us at a specific time for a special purpose. All the gifts of the Spirit are miraculous, but the use of the word miracle in this instance refers to acts of power.
Miracles give undeniable proof of the resurrection.
If Jesus were not alive, His name would have no power to heal the sick and work miracles. Peter convinced the unbelieving Jews of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and their need for repentance on the strength of the fact that Jesus’ name still had power to heal the sick and work miracles.
(13) In the following scriptures, what does calling upon the name of Jesus do? Acts 4:29-30
Discussion Question: Have you ever received a miracle by calling on the name of Jesus? Share with others in the group.
Read Luke 4:16 (14) How do we know that Jesus had previously preached in the synagogue?
Read Luke 4:33-35 (15) What happened when Jesus delivered the man with the demon?
Read John 6:2 (16) Why did the great multitude follow Him?
Everywhere the disciples preached, healed the sick, cast out demons and worked miracles, multitudes turned to Christ.
Read Acts 8:6 (17) Why did the people of Samaria give heed to Philip?
Read Acts 9:32-35 (18) What was the miracle that made all the people at Lydia and Sharon turn to the Lord? 62
Read Acts 9:38-42 (19) What was the response of the people of Joppa when God raised Orcas from the dead through Peter?
Read Acts 14:8-18 (20) How did the people of Elytra react when God healed the lame man through Paul?
Read Acts 28:8, 9 (21) What was the response when Publics was healed?
The book of Acts closes with miracles in full swing. When people saw Publics healed, they believed that if God would heal one, then He was able and willing to heal everyone that had need. When people think and believe correctly about God’s healing, they get from Him what He wants so much to give them. The working of miracles is the enabling of he Holy Spirit, giving the believer the ability to work a miracle. In contrast, God also works miracles in the life of a believer. Many who have never received the gift of working miracles have often experienced astounding miracles, which God has wrought on their behalf.
(22) Give the type of miracle described in each of the following scriptures. Acts 5:17-20
Acts 8:39, 40
These and many other instances are miracles performed by God in the lives of believers, sometimes even without the cooperation of the believer. These are not, therefore, instances where the gifts of working miracles was operating. They stand in contrast to the working of miracles given in the following scriptures. 63
(23) Describe these miracles. Acts 9:40
We see the practical operation of this gift in three ways: • • By the anointing do the Holy Spirit to create special confidence and authority. By a spoken word of faith and authority. Elijah said that the God who answered by fire should be Israel’s Lord. The fire, which came down, was an example of the working of miracles. By a bold act of faith.
1) Am I now ready to receive the gifts the Holy Spirit wants to give me? 2) Am I ready to use them as He and Scripture direct? 3) Will I make certain that He is glorifying in any of the spiritual gifts He may give me?
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Sources and references
De Heilige Geest en Zijn Gaven Het Oude Testament heeft een tijd voorspeld dat God Zijn Geest zou uitstorten op “alle vlees”. De mensen zouden profeteren en geestelijke dromen en gezichten hebben. Die profetie werd op de Pinksterdag vervuld, toen de wachtende discipelen van Jezus met de Heilige Geest vervuld werden en in tongen begonnen te spreken. Deze mannen en vrouwen die eerst bedeesd en lafhartig waren, begonnen vrijmoedig het Evangelie te verkondigen. Ze verrichten genezingen en wonderen en brachten het Evangelie aan alle mensen van de toen bekende wereld. Wie of wat is deze Heilige Geest, die in de Bijbel de Trooster wordt genoemd, of de Geest der waarheid? Wat gebeurt er wanneer iemand met de Heilige Geest wordt vervuld? Hoe kunnen wij deze heerlijke geestelijke gave ontvangen, die ons in staat stelt om zelfs dezelfde werken als God te doen? De Heilige Geest en Zijn Gaven brengt de lezer zorgvuldig tot begrip van de Heilige Geest, Zijn werk in deze tijd en de geestesgaven die beschikbaar zijn voor iedere gelovige. Over de auteur Gerald Rowlands is een goede bekende binnen de kring van Aglow lezers. Hij is een geliefde schrijver, leraar en evangelist en woont met zijn vrouw en twee van hun drie dochters in Australië. Over de bewerking Deze studie is opnieuw overgenomen uit Aglow materiaal, bewerkt en aangepast aan de inmiddels veranderde Nederlandse taal en grammatica, door ds. R.H.F. Uppelschoten. Hiervoor is officieel toestemming gevraagd aan Mrs. Rowena Cooper, Communications Specialist van Women’s Aglow International in de Verenigde Staten. Over Aglow Deze studies zijn uitgegeven tot opbouw van iedere Christen en kunnen zowel door mensen afzonderlijk als door groepen worden gebruikt. Een Bijbelstudiegroep mag echter alleen met de naam Aglow worden aangeduid, wanneer deze onder leiding staat van een plaatselijke afdeling van Women’s Aglow Fellowship. © 1987 Women’s Aglow Fellowship Nederland ISBN 90-71178-03-X Vertaling Josee van den Broek en Rebecca Vos © 1984 Aglow Publications, Edmonds, Washington, USA.
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